Julien Friedler – Boz Mythology
The Stash Gallery @ Vout-O-Reenees.com London E1
25 April – 11 May 2019
Opening view: Thursday 25 April
Allegorie, 2017, acrylic on paper, 46x60cm © Julien Friedler
This spring sees the long-awaited UK showing of Belgian artist Julien Friedler. Consisting of 40 works on paper, it is the first significant outing for the Belgian artist in the country and an introduction to Friedler’s intriguing body of work.
Well-known across Europe and the US, Friedler’s work defies the surface activity found in much contemporary art. His works – which include paintings, drawings, writings as well as events – are informed by mythology: of spirits and mystical entities like angels and demons within ethereal universes. Both contemplative and exuberant, they are replete with tensions between space and solidity. They reward slow reflection.
An ex-psychoanalyst – and a long-time pupil of Jacques Lacan – Friedler has long studied mythology and anthropology, and brings these ideas to his work. He has a worldwide association called the Spirit of Boz, which aims to establish exchanges and links with a global community. Inaugurated in 2006, the Tour of Boz is to operate for 80 years, bringing the Spirit of Boz to the world. It is in the tradition of culture exchanges of Robert Rauschenberg and Fluxus – using the power of art as a catalyst for globlal interaction – and now updated as a source of communion in the internet age.
Sometimes compared to the Belgian artist James Ensor, Friedler’s paintings combines aspects of the grotesque and carnivalesque with a dramatic use of colour.
Friedler’s work, seen at many exhibitions including 2018’s Outsider Art fair in Paris, offers a sense of transcendence that is now unusual in the contemporary art sphere. He believes that art is a human activity that expresses universal concerns, beliefs and emotions – and Friedler is a believer in Joseph Beuys’ dictum that “Every one of us is capable of doing creative or artistic work”. Like Beuys, Friedler believes that art can be a philosophical, moral and even existential programme: using the power of the subconscious to awaken the spirits of the age.
“Art is not entertainment. It is more a power that is self-generating – a mystery that we need to probe.”
Boz Mythology by Julien Friedler
25 April – 9 May 2019
The Stash Gallery,Vout-O-Reenees The Crypt, 30 Prescot St,
London E1 8BB
Open 5pm-10.30pm, Tues-Saturday or by appointment on 07753702910
For more information, comment and images, please call Oliver Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07764 941873). For interview requests (French only) or comment from Friedler, please email art historian and Friedler authority Dominique Stella at email@example.com
About Julien Friedler
Born: 1950, Brussels
Currently lives and works in Monaco
Outsider Art Fair
Behind the World, Complesso Vittoriano, Roma
La Parole des Anges, Cité Miroir, Liège
Vibrations, Madonna del Duomo Vecchio, Arezzo
Be Boz Be Art and Friedler’s paintings, galleria GliAcrobati, Turin
Spirit of Boz Paintings, Berlaymont Building, Commission Européenne, Bruxelles
Accrochage, Spirit of Boz Association, Knokke
La Forêt des âmes, Chiesa Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Spoleto
Boz Legend, Castello di Rivara-Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivara (To)
Face to Face, Museo Villa Croce, Genova e Galleria Unimedia Modern, Genoa
La Forêt des âmes, Museoteatro della Commenda di Pré, Genoa
Retro Boz, Museo delle Arti Visive, Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto (cat.)
La Forêt des mes, Alliance française, Venezia
Mania Boz, Museo Civico Villa Bassi, Abano Terme
Mania Boz, Fondazione, Mudima, Milano (cat.)
Amok & Kalinka, Riflemaker, 79 Beak Street, London
Tre opere e incontro sul tema L’Artista sciamano with Philippe Daverio and Julien Friedler, former Anglican Church, Bordighera, Italy
Voyage, Museo civico Archeologico Girolamo Rossi – Forte dell’Annunziata, Ventimiglia, Italy (Cat.)
Galerie Gourvennec-Ogor, Marseille
Spirit of Boz, the Truth of the Labyrinth, CW Gallery, New York